I am probably showing my age here, but back in my day if you wanted candy on Halloween, you dressed up, gathered a huge mob of your friends, and went door to door in your neighborhood soliciting for candy.
Part of the adventure was roaming the neighborhood at dark. You know, getting to be up far later than normal, having a spooky costume on, and having an overall feeling that you are being mischievous, even if you actually weren’t.
So that brings me to trunk or treat. I would say this a relatively new event, but in reality it’s been around for a decade or so. The premise is that a group of people get together on a parking lot (usually at a school or church) and the children of these people get to go from car to car “trick or treating” in a safe environment.
Now, I am all for the safety of children. And in certain areas of the U.S. (areas that have a high crime rate, for example) this line of thinking actually makes a lot of sense. The kids get to have something like a Halloween adventure and the parents of these kids get to watch over them in a controlled environment.
But trunk or treat is, in a lot of ways, taking over as the standard operating procedure in many areas–including areas that are safe. And with that there are some consequences. Parents are opting for the lazy way out. They take their kid to one of these trunk or treat events so that they don’t have to walk around the neighborhood with their kid on Halloween.
And for the children of parents who aren’t necessarily active in church or school groups? They get left by the wayside. They either don’t get to participate at all in Halloween, which is heartbreaking to me, or they get to run around in neighborhoods that are devoid of other people.
See, part of the “safety” of Halloween was the vast number of other people on the streets during times that they normally wouldn’t be. In theory, this would keep any predators at bay. At least, that’s some of the logic. Now though, it is even less safe for kids who do the traditional trick or treating.
Oh, and because numbers have dropped off so much, people in these neighborhoods have stopped buying candy for trick or treaters.
So what do you think? Is trick or treating dead, replaced by trunk or treating? And is trunk or treating actually about safety of children or is it the laziness of their parents? Keep in mind, the two don’t have to be mutually exclusive.
Is there some aspect of community building around truck or treating? Or does it only serve to insulate a community that has already formed?
Let me know what you think and have happy Halloween where ever you roam. 🙂